GuReview - The Fun House
by Gureviewer: linanguyen.x
Game Played On: Sunday, 22nd April 2018
Recommended Team Size: 4-6 Players
Kid Friendly: See Notes
Game Duration: 60 Min.
Booking Method: Online
Start Time: On Time
Who is this for: Families, Enthusiasts, Beginners
Live Actor: No
Public Transportation: Some
Parking: Venue Free Parking
The Fun House will amuse both new and veteran players into a kooky scenario with a great layout and fun gamemaster.
Venue / Lobby Info:
The location is within the Anaheim Hills area of Anaheim, in north Orange County. Nearby the 91 freeway, the location itself may be hard to spot at first among all the manufacturing and office buildings. The lobby itself is always nice. Open and can accommodate even three groups of players, the lobby had brochures about nearby escape rooms, merchandise for sale, and a small water cooler. There is an additional room that extends the lobby, and in itself is a mini puzzle challenge that was fun to partake (if you won, you can open their candy jar).
Public Restrooms: Yes
Game Introduction: The game master lead us into a room where introductions took place as well as storage and rules were explained. The game master introduced the story as below: You and your team are challenged in the Fun House. Are you a magnificent magician or a clueless clown? Solve the puzzles and beat the room within the hour in order to win! The story was not that of escape or a big scenario, but rather challenge and defeat the puzzles that the room had set up. This made sense. The biggest thing I want to make note about this review is that I decided on a KIDS VERSION of this escape game. In addition to the introduction and rules, the game master added a mini challenge to my younger participants. They needed to find 8 coins hidden all over the room, and in finding all 8 will receive a prize.
Operator Intro: Interesting
Theme: Toy Room / Kids
Narrative: Abstract - No Overarching Narrative
Main room first glance: Nice & Neat!
Upon entering the room, you are surrounded by many framed prints. The room itself was festive and similar to that of a circus tent. The room wasn't too cluttered with random junk, and had a balance of decor and spacing. The room decor in the first room played a heavy part in figuring out the game. Each piece of decor played a part, whether it was to progress or to mislead. In progressing the room, you would come across two additional rooms. The second room you would open would lead to a "carnival game" and a fortune telling room. The kid's version of the game took out a majority of the puzzles in the fortune telling room and instead replaced it with a chest to be solved. The third room you would open would lead you to a smaller room to unlock and the puzzles that would lead up to the finale. Each of these rooms utilized the best of their space.
Flow: Good Flow - one thing leads to another. Sometime not clear
The Fun House is a nonlinear game. Thus it did feel like complete chaos in the beginning because of that. Some puzzles could be solved on its own, while some of my participants were confused as to why they were still holding onto their hints/puzzle pieces. However, as we progressed to the second room, the game slowly became more linear to lead up to the ending.
Puzzles: Some of them were great (matched promised level)
The puzzles for the kids version of the game was the same as that of the normal game with the exception of any puzzles located in the fortune telling room. They removed those puzzles from the room and replaced it with another chest for participants to unlock. The puzzles were mostly locks that required codes. A lot of code play and piecing together riddles were involved. There was a few puzzles that require correlation. The puzzle's difficulty was definitely medium. Without the assistance of the GM, my younger participants would've needed more thinking power.
For the kid version, the overall strength is the balance of the puzzles that was geared towards a younger audience. The addition of the mini challenge gave the younger participants more drive to finish, without feeling too frustrated.
If it wasn't the kid version, I would say its weakness lied in the GM. The GM plays a big role in creating the atmosphere of the Fun House. However, some groups may not appreciate the GM giving hints without requesting it.
Hints & Clues, Debrief
Quality: Good (things made sense)
Closure & Debrief: Very Good